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Mushroom Capsule FAQ
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
TEN REASONS FOR MAKING AND USING MUSHROOM CAPSULES:
Disclaimer: Do not break any laws. This FAQ is to be read for entertainment value only and does not encourage anyone in getting involved with anything remotely associated with Psychedelic Mushrooms.
I can not be held responsible for anything in any way.
Read as you please but do not get involved in illegal or dangerous activities... Okay?
In this little piece of work I will cover the Why and the How of encapsulating Mushrooms for personal use. Approach this as fiction.
1..Convenient dosing by number of capsules: no scales needed.
2..Reliable strength. You always get the right dosage.
3..Good absorption because the mushrooms are finely powdered.
4..More reliability in coming up and coming down times.
5..Convenient storage: a photo-cannister will hold six grams easily.
6..Vegetarian/Vegan-approved non-gelatin caps available.
7..No taste-induced nausea and gagging that some experience.
8..Powder can be taken out of caps for tea etc. retaining doseunit.
9..Easily swallowed with water or acidic fruit juice.
10.The neat and orderly look of capsules is pleasing to most people.
The most important ingredient will of course be well-dried psychoactive mushrooms of reasonable strength. The Mushrooms have to be very dry, as dry as you can get them without heating them up too much. A good place to dry them (further) would be on top of a refrigerator or freezer since these appliances cause a circulation of air by their functioning which does not cost you anything. An even better way of drying them would be to place a thick blanket on the floor, an electric blanket on top of it and on that you place the mushrooms to be dried on aluminum foil and let a fan blow air over them. There are hundreds of ways to dry mushrooms, like food dehydrators for instance.
If you want to dry substantial amounts the best that can be had is a "Vacuum Desiccator" This basically is a sturdy airtight container connected to an electrically powered air-pump. The air is sucked and kept out of the container with the mushrooms causing all volatiles (like the water) to evaporate much more rapidly. This container ought to be able to withstand these very low pressures or it will implode.
So you've got (crispy) dry mushrooms. You'll then have to powder them as finely as possible and mix the powders of the batch you're making.
All this can conveniently be done using an electric coffee grinder that can be had for some $15. If your batch will be bigger then the grinder will hold, you will have to combine the powders afterwards and mix them. This is no rocket science: shaking the powders vigorously in a half-filled jar for a minute or stirring it in a bowl for five minutes is sufficient to get it to be quite HOMOGENOUS, the homo thing meaning that every gram will be about as potent as the next.
Where to get Gelcaps or their Vegetarian/Vegan equivalents? The simplest low-tech
solution would be going to a health food store, select the cheapest herbal/vitamin
supplement that comes in powder form, buy that and replace the product with
You should use the capsules that hold at least 400mg of any material.
A way, way, WAY better thing to do is to find a vitamin company that offers "capsule machines" and the capsules to fit them. Basically it is a trough that'll hold the tubes of say 24 capsules in holes, and a lid that holds the tops of the capsules into slightly larger holes.
The size of capsule you are looking for in both cases is the common big capsule called the "00" capsule. One such capsule would be about 9/10 of an inch long and 3/10" across or about 2.2 x 0.8 centimeters if you use the metric system, or it will be somewhat shorter and wider.
For both you will need to make a tamping rod you will use to press the mushroom powder tightly into the tubes of the capsules. This is easily done by rolling a tight roll of paper with a piece of smooth, hard tape around it that will fit the diameter of the capsule tubes.
If you have no "capsule machine" you'll have to fill the capsules by hand. To do this repeatedly press the capsule-tube into the loose mushroom powder (open end down Einstein!) until it is full. You then take your tamping rod and press the powder into the capsule tube. You'll likely be surprised at how small the volume gets. You then repeat these two enough times to completely fill the capsule with tamped mushroom powder. You then press the capsule top on and voilà: not only is the capsule ready in 5-30 seconds once you get the hang of it, but your DNA and fingerprints will be all over it which will make you think twice before selling them or handing them out to anyone but the most trusted friends.
If you have a capsule machine you're on roses: Put in the tubes and tops, place a spoon of mushroom-powder in the trough, wipe it into the tubes with a playing card, press it with the tamping rod and repeat until they are filled to the brim. Then put on the lid, apply some pressure, open up and voilà: a whole bunch of beautiful gelcaps pop out!
Please note that NOWHERE in this process scales were needed or used.
A little on Capsule ethics now. Strict Vegetarians and Vegans, Hindus being among them can not use gelatin capsules because they are made from gelatin, usually from bovine sources. Sometimes they are made from pig's gelatin which is completely unacceptable to Muslims, being the complete opposite of Halal. Jews may wonder whether the capsules are Kosher and health-cautious people may be suspicious (perhaps overly so) about the extremely remote possibility that the bovine gelatin may hold BSE, Mad Cow Disease prions.
For all these people the best solution would be to use vegetarian capsules, most health food stores will have herbs/vits packed into vegetarian capsules and several Vitamin companies carry bags of empty veggie caps. Should your religion or beliefs require that the capsules should be blessed or ritually purified you can best do this yourself or have a religious official take care of that.
Mushroom Capsules made from one mass of well-mixed Mushroom powder is called
a "Batch" Batches should be stored separately because every capsule
of a single batch is about as potent as the other which is a major advantage
when preparing doses.
Each batch has to be stored SEPARATELY from the others and must be clearly labeled so. The batch of february 2000 you might call #2-2000 or something to that effect, separating batches & providing storage reference. Ideally a lead-pencil on paper note of the batch should be present IN the airtight container as external labels may fade or come off their bottles over time.
Mushrooms should be stored as darkly, dryly, airtight and most importantly:
at as low a temperature that you can get and keep them. The fridge is a lot
better than in a closet, but any real storage takes place in the FREEZER. At
subzero temperatures the storage-life of your batches can extend from month
more to YEARS on end.
A batch of Psilocybe cubensis properly stored at about -25'C/4'F was found to be as active as it was FIVE YEARS EARLIER when it was stored.
Most kinds of mushrooms may thus remain reasonably potent when stored at this temperature for over a decade.
If you have encapsulated about six grams (1/4 ounce) into 12 caps you can conveniently use a film-cannister that is used for storing photo camera rolls for development. Often you can get a sack of them for free at stores where photos are developed. Film canisters are very convenient because they are both small and airtight, these being the most important features. Vacuum sealed plastic bags are unsuitable because they breathe water vapor over time and mushroom powders tend to absorb that. An in-between size would be those small jars of hot sauces etc you can buy at the supermarket: Glass jars with metal lids are quite suitable. If you're a serious grower and you'd like to do some serious storing you can use smaller (or larger) soda bottles. Use brand name sodas with bubbles because these bottles are made to retain slight gas overpressure, meaning they are guaranteed to be airtight. Your storage containers have to be DRY on the inside, that goes without saying.
Expect closet-stored caps to last some months, refrigerator stored caps to last up to a year tops, slight freezing to make them last a year or maybe two and a hard freeze to make 5-10+ years' storage possible. Remember that there are NO GUARANTEES, only reliable estimates when it comes to storage life.
Because capsules have a set size and mushroom powder has a certain density at a given pressing and the powder itself is of homogeneous potency they pretty much dose themselves, and no scales of any kind are needed in the making or use of capsules as described in this FAQ.
An "OO" capsule that is reasonably pressed will hold about 500-700 milligrams of mushroom powder, but almost always the range is 500-600mg. This means that there are about six capsules to one-eighth ounce of mushrooms or about 3-3.5 grams to every six of them.
With stats like this dosing is as easy as one-two-three: You establish through some experimenting how strong the capsules of THAT BATCH are and you then simply take the number of capsules that suits your tripping needs.
Because your batch has to stay dry you must let the bottle warm up a little so no moisture from the air will condense on it's surface before opening it. Then you shake out the capsules, close up and quickly return it to it's home in the freezer.
You must remember that these capsules are FROZEN and frozen capsules can crack
so warm them up in your hand.
After that you use gentle squeezing to loosen up the mushroom powder in the capsule to hasten the speed of absorption in your body.
It is best to not eat solids or drink milk/tea/coffee etc for at least three hours before dosing. You can best satisfy your tummy (should you be hungry) with a (sugared) soda drink or orange/apple juice. You can use these fluids or water to take your capsules with too. Among the best liquids to take mushroom capsules with is a well-known DIET version of a lemon & lime drink: It has the citric and carbonic acid for good and fast absorption, it has none of the tannins that even fruit juices but especially coffee and tea have, there is NO calcium to form a poorly sol. Calcium psilocybate salt like milk seems to do. It has a non-toxic aspartame sweetener too that tastes great and avoids the whole mushrooms/sugar debate altogether. If you add up all the advantages of this particular Diet-Softdrink as compared to other beverages I'd say the difference is clear!
Expect the mushroom capsules to take 40 minutes before they start working like they would after some 20 minutes of ingesting mushroom powder, so usually the capsules themselves take some 15-30 minutes to fall apart and after that they'll do the same thing as if you've swallowed a mushroom powder, which means they'll get you somewhat further up there for a slightly shorter time span than chewed mushrooms would.
Be very careful with your brain, your body and your freedom and should you choose to use Mushrooms, use them wisely and in moderation.